How to get to Machu Picchu
There are 3 different ways to get to Machu Picchu.
1. The first is to trek the Classic Inca Trail, a four day trek rated as one of the top in the world, or one of our many alternative treks. We offer at least five different treks that arrive to or near Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu . See our Trekking section for more details.
2. The second way is to get to Machu Picchu is by a long, beautiful overland journey from Ollantaytambo known as the “Back Door” route. It is long – over 160 kilometers – and is not for the faint of heart or anyone who fears heights. Although it can be done in one day by a combination of automobile, bicycle, and walking. It is more commonly done in two days. For more information, see our “Back Door” trip under our section on Machu Picchu.
3. The third way to get to Machu Picchu is to take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. This is the most popular method, and for good reason. Although we hear from many people who don’t want to take the train for cost or image reasons, it is a beautiful and thrilling train ride and a good option for those without the time or stamina for the Inca Trail, or the sense of adventure required for the Back Door trip. There are two companies that run this service: Peru Rail (www.PeruRail.com and Inca Rail (www.IncaRail.com)
Questions about getting to Machu Picchu
What is the deal with train tickets to Machu Picchu? You should definitely get your train tickets booked as early in your trip planning as possible as this will determine your itinerary for the other parts of your trip. (This is the second thing you need to do, the first is get your MP entrance tickets at www.MachuPicchu.gob.pe You should go to www.PeruRail.com or www.IncaRail.com for all train ticket questions. We do offer train ticket buying service for our clients but there is a $9 per ticket charge, you can save money by doing it yourself instead online
Isn’t there another way to get there? Yes, we can help you plan a spectacular journey to Machu Picchu by either private taxi, public bus, mountain bike, motorcycle, or a combination of any and all of these. It is basically a full day travel (through spectacular scenery of mountain glaciers to tropical jungle to a town called Santa Theresa, where after a short trip to the Hydroelectric station, you walk three hours into the town of Aguas Calientes and Machu PIcchu. Write us for details on this once in a lifetime trip.
What train station should I leave from? There is not always service between Cusco and Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu, depending on the time of the year and conditions of the track during the rainy season. Most people use Ollantaytambo as a base from which to stay but also to take the train to Aguas Calientes. This is done because it is generally cheaper and faster to take taxi service between Cusco and Ollantaytambo, which is the main station for the train coming and going to Machu Picchu. On the train websites, the name Sacred Valley is given to the Ollantaytambo train station.